Hello there! If you’d like me to speak at an event, I’ve prepared this page of possible presentations. Get in touch if you’d like to book a date.
Perhaps you’d like to see/hear me presenting? I have two samples online:
For keynote presentations, I offer the following:
- Preparing Tomorrow’s Innovators – 21st century technologies have opened up new paths for success, and gifted students’ curiosity and intense interests make them uniquely suited to blaze these new trails. At the same time, gifted characteristics such as perfectionism and impostor syndrome can hold them back. We will discuss how parents and teachers can support students, empowering them to become tomorrow’s innovators.
- Cultivating Curious Kids – Curiosity is an essential ingredient to deep learning, yet many students spend entire days at school without asking even one curious question. How can you ensure that your classroom is a curiosity oasis and not a desert? We’ll explore what happens in the brain to ignite curiosity, consider how our classrooms promote or discourage question-asking, learn how small tweaks to lessons will promote curiosity, and discover resources that are guaranteed to get students asking curious questions.
- More Than Just “Smart” Kids – How often do we think of our gifted students as merely “smart kids.” Not only does this underestimate their intelligence, it hides the many non-academic needs that they have. Through personal testimony, learn how the word “smart” leads to issues like perfectionism, impostor syndrome, and reduced risk-taking that don’t appear until, in many cases, college or beyond.
For hour-long breakout sessions, I have the following:
- A Dozen Mind-Boggling Mathematical Curiosities – Does math seem like it’s all about memorization and procedure? Has math been robbed of its beauty and wonder? In this session, we’ll go through a dozen puzzling mathematical curiosities sure to tantalize your gifted students. Each is simple enough for even young students to understand, but many have remained unsolved for hundreds of years – puzzling even professional mathematicians!
- Asking Better Questions – Asking questions is a basic tool for teachers, yet how much training have you received? What type of questions do teachers ask? How often? How quickly? And to whom? We’ll dive into some fascinating stats on questioning in classrooms and then look at simple ways to get better at asking questions that push students’ thinking.
- Powering Lessons with Curiosity and Intuition – Gifted students have natural inquisitiveness, curiosity, and intuition. Rather than battle against these traits, let’s harnesses them to power the learning in your classroom. We’ll explore models of instruction that build on student curiosity, develop thoughtful questioning, and incorporate powerful prompts.
- Complexity (Not Just Difficulty) In Math – Are students grappling with complexity in math or just working through difficult problems? Come learn to recognize the difference and walk away with several resources for adding a dose of delightful complexity to your math instruction.
- Differentiate With High Ceilings, Low Floors – Rather than developing three different tasks for three different groups, how do we create one task that works across many ability levels? In this session we’ll look at tasks with high ceilings (to keep a high level of challenge available) and with low floors (so all students can get started).
- Depth and Complexity: Level 2 – Once you’ve learned the names and functions of the eleven prompts of depth and complexity, where do you go next? In this session, we’ll explore how to go beyond the basics by integrating thinking skills, combining prompts, and creating sequences that move students towards higher levels of thinking. (Participants should have some experience using the Depth and Complexity prompts).
- Creativity Beyond The Fluff – “Create” is at the top of Bloom’s Taxonomy, but it’s easy to equate creativity with fluffy activities that don’t really challenge students. In this session, we’ll climb Bloom’s, add in depth and complexity, and develop an intellectually demanding (but creative) task perfect for science, social studies, or language arts.
- Small Ways to Improve Students’ Writing – Want to see tangible improvements in student writing? In this session you’ll walk away with practical (and practicable!) ways to quickly upgrade your class’ writing ability. We’ll look at adding variety to sentences, reworking others’ writing, and fancier figurative language.
- Best of Byrdseed – Walk away with several intriguing, open-ended activities to promote discussion and creative thinking. Some are perfect morning warmups, some kick off the year, and some are ongoing tools for deeper thinking. Each emphasizes creative, high level thinking, collaboration within groups, and communication to explain thinking.
- Developing Delightful Math Investigations – My math projects were nothing more than fancy worksheets. Then I learned to start with intriguing data and transform it into complex math investigations. Here’s how to do the same.
- Writing and Analyzing High Quality Narratives – Teach your students to think about stories as sophisticated authors do. Analyze themes, character archetypes, narrative structure, and literary techniques. Then, students build on these classic ideas to create well-crafted stories.
For a full, six-hour day, I offer:
- Differentiating With Complexity – Gifted students thrive on complex, open-ended tasks but are often confronted with just “more work.” We will learn more about how gifted kids think, and then explore how to ramp up complexity through easy-to-run, but delightfully complex activities and models of instruction that work across all content areas. Walk away with tools that you can quickly implement in your classroom to better differentiate for all students.
- Curiouser and Curiouser: Digging Into Curiosity A day devoted to curiosity! What is curiosity? How do we develop it in students? How can we create curiosity about topics that don’t seem that interesting? A fun exploration of this key component of learning.